3, Mar, 21

How I Got 7 Wins in Kaldheim Draft with Blue/Black Zombies & Demons

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Last weekend, I managed to get a 7-1 run in Kaldheim Ranked Draft on Magic: The Gathering Arena with Blue/Black Zombies & Demons. It was definitely one of the most powerful draft decks I’ve crafted thanks to the powerful bombs and strong synergies that made the deck hard-to-beat.

Wizards of the Coast

First, let’s take a look at the decklist:

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2x Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire

Wizards of the Coast

My first pick in Pack 1 is a Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire. For three mana, you get a 2/3 Deathtouch creature with “Boast – 1B: Target player searches their library for a card, then shuffles their library and puts that card on top of it.”

This is not a game-changer; any Deathtouch creature can provide solid defense against fatties, but out of all my matches, this card only managed to make an impact in one game despite having two copies of this card. I got the second copy in Pack 2, but was hesitant to pick it because it’s a legendary card, and I don’t want one copy to get stuck because I have the other one in play. I still think it’s a decent pick for this kind of build.

Burning-Rune Demon

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Burning-Rune Demon was my best bomb card in my Dimir deck, and it won me a lot of games. A 6/6 Flying body is already a powerful threat, but its ETB effect can help you get the card you need to ensure victory. When it enters the battlefield, I get to search for two different cards, and an opponent chooses which one goes to my hand. I always get a copy of Run Ashore or Karfell Kennel-Master, making it difficult for my opponent to choose since they can both make an impact on the board. At one point, I also chose a Weigh Down and Return Upon the Tide, but I’ll talk more about the support cards later on.

Narfi, Betrayer King

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Narfi, Betrayer King may not be as game-changing as Burning-Rune Demon but it still packs a punch in a Dimir deck with a good amount of snow and Zombie creatures, and my deck got a decent amount of Zombies: 2x Karfell Harbinger, Priest of the Haunted Edge Grim Draugr, Draugr Thought-Thief, Hailstorm Valkyrie, Draugr Recruiter, and Karfell Kennel-Master. I also have the Littjara Kinseekers and Mistwalker (both Changelings) and the snow creature Frostpeak Yeti. Any creature that makes most of your other creatures stronger is usually always good in a draft match. Narfi can also return from the graveyard to the battlefield tapped if you pay three snow mana. Unfortunately, I only have four snow-covered lands in my entire deck, so I didn’t have the chance to resurrect Narfi in any of my games, but it still made an impact when it was in play.


2x Run Ashore

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Run Ashore is one of my favorite commons in Kaldheim draft. Its high casting cost may be hard for some decks, especially if they don’t have any way to ramp up mana, but I was able to ramp it up thanks to Karfell Harbinger’s ability, which lets you spend 1 blue mana to cast an instant or sorcery spell, so there were times when I was able to play Run Ashore by turn 4 or 5 since I often have 1 or 2 Karefell Harbingers in play.

Wizards of the Coast

This instant won me multiple games thanks to its ability to slow down your opponent’s threats, and note that you can target any nonland permanent, so that means you can return an Equipment, an Aura, or an Artifact card. Just like any bounce spells, this card can also remove a creature token permanently. I could have also used this card to save my Burning-Rune Demon if my opponent were to remove it, but I never get to use this card to target my own creatures. Usually, at the end of my opponent’s turn, I return their biggest threats to clear the way for Rune-Scar Demon’s attack.

2x Karfell Kennel Master

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Here’s another great card to search with Burning-Rune Demon’s ETB ability. Karfell Kennel-Master’s ability to give two of my creatures +1+0 and indestructible can help you push the last bits of damage to win the game. In one of my last games, my opponent had 7 life, and I had 3 life. My Burning-Rune Demon was my only creature in play, and my opponent has a smaller creature but one attack would be lethal, so I also needed the demon to stay untapped so I can block it, and its 6 power was not enough to win the game. However, I managed to top-deck a Karfell Kennel-Master, which gave it a +1 power boost, exactly enough to win me that game.

Return Upon the Tide

Wizards of the Coast

Return Upon the Tide is a decent reanimator spell, but when I drafted this card, I wasn’t sure if it fits well in the deck since I wasn’t sure if it’s still worth playing even without the Elf Warrior token bonus. I didn’t have any Elves to get the tokens, but I realized that even without it, this card is fantastic in draft! Note that it returns the creature to the battlefield, not to your hand, so that means you won’t have to pay the casting cost of the creature you bring back. If you foretold the card, you can play it by turn 4, but this is more of a late-game support.

The best use I had with this card is when I reanimated Burning-Rune Demon the turn after my opponent killed it. That means the demon’s ETB trigger let me search for two cards again, one of which my opponent chooses, and that was enough to win me the game. If you have a strong creature bomb worth reanimating, at least one copy of Return Upon The Tide is worth adding to your draft deck.


Wizards of the Coast

Ravenform is just a great exile card. Rarely, the 1/1 blue Bird you give to your opponent could backfire but overall, it’s great at removing huge threats. Being able to Foretell the card also makes it efficient to play. Sadly, I only got one copy of it.

Draugr Thought-Thief

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For a three-mana Zombie Rogue, this card is not bad. Usually, when I play this card, I target myself so I could either smooth out my draw if I need to make sure I want to draw a land card next, or if I want to put a creature to the graveyard that I can reanimate with Return Upon the Tide. It’s not a big threat, but I’m glad I included one copy.


Overall, this deck was fun to play. I was lucky that someone passed me the Burning-Rune Demon in Pack 2. I wish I got more solid removal though, but I think as long as the draft deck has enough strong threats with great support, you don’t need to worry much about not having enough removal cards. I also only had three two-drop creatures but being able to Foretell by Turn 2 can help smooth out the curve. I would have removed Disdainful Stroke if I had a better two-drop creature. I’m not usually a fan of counter spells in Draft but I managed to counter a threat one time, so it was not completely useless.

Initially, I thought Blue/Black Zombie builds need a lot of snow-covered lands and other permanents to make it work well, but my friend, who happens to be also a Magic judge (Phil Peña), advised me not to force Snow when drafting because most likely everyone else will be drafting Snow, and you will need great bombs to make it work. In this case, I have some decent bombs but they were not Snow-dependent. This proves that Blue/Black Zombies/Demons can be strong in Kaldheim Draft even without a lot of Snow support. This deck helped me get to Platinum Rank, and I know the opportunity to draft this archetype doesn’t often come, so always be open when it comes to drafting, but you need to figure out which cards synergize well together and which cards fit at whatever archetype you’re playing.

Let me know what you think about this Dimir Zombie & Demonds Draft deck on my tweet:

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